The Arts at Willamette
Anyone who has heard flute trills floating out of the Smith Fine Arts Building, attended an opening at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art or watched an actor rehearsing lines outside the Playhouse knows that the arts thrive at Willamette University. We celebrate the myriad ways in which people create, because we believe the arts can help people think outside the box and see the world in different ways.
Our students showcase their creativity through multiple outlets. They sing in choral groups, create visual art to display in the museum, produce and perform in plays, dance or jam with their bands at Wulapalooza, and read their poetry at the Bistro coffee shop, just to name a few opportunities.
Willamette is central to the Salem community's vibrant arts scene. We host hundreds of free or low-cost lectures, forums, concerts, plays, readings, films and festivals each year, including regular concerts by the university's 12 music ensembles, guest performances from world-renowned musicians sponsored by the Grace Goudy Distinguished Artists Series and four main stage theatre productions.
The Hallie Ford Museum of Art is frequently lauded for showcasing Northwest artists, and it also displays one-of-a-kind traveling exhibitions, such as ceremonial regalia from Oregon's Native tribes and Maori traditional arts from New Zealand.
The Atkinson Lecture Series brings prominent writers, actors and leaders to town — visitors have included Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, novelist John Irving and author/filmmaker Sebastian Junger. We also partner with outside arts groups to host their programs on campus — such as the Oregon Symphony and Salem Chamber Orchestra — and to help sponsor events in the community, including the Salem Film Festival and Salem Art Fair & Festival.
Studying the Arts
Willamette students can major and minor in a variety of arts-related subjects. They learn from distinguished faculty artists who have been recognized regionally, nationally and internationally for their talents and perform or display their work frequently in the community.